The life of O’Reilly: an Irish memoir with a difference

Séamas O’Reilly’s memoir of growing up in rural Derry, Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?, is the laugh-out-loud literary hit of the year, much to the surprise of its creator

Séamas O’Reilly, author of Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?: ‘I’m delighted that my brothers and sisters have all enjoyed the book. Or, at least, they’re not telling me if they didn’t.’ Picture: Daniel Lynch

Here’s a challenge: try reading Séamas O’Reilly’s memoir, Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?, without laughing out loud. It’s virtually impossible. You might even find yourself screenshotting passages and sending them to any WhatsApp group that will listen. My siblings (a meagre two in total, compared to O’Reilly’s ten) got a chuckle out of the image of Joe O’Reilly (Séamas’s father) becoming “irate at a slow driver on the motorway and . . . calling him ...